I, for one, am totally shocked to have one of my images selected as a finalist. This is the first time I've been a finalist in anything. This is also my first photo contest I've entered. I shoot photos because I love to show people what I see through my mind and eyes when I click that shutter release. It isn't about the best photoshopping, or the least amount of photoshopping. It's about showing the viewer what you saw in your eyes and mind when you were there, taking it all in, IMHO. Art; in a word.
I think everyone should start their own website and contest, and when that is the case, they should critique CR's judging.
I am pretty sure that I won't win my category, and in the humblest part of my mind; I think that's great. Gives me room to grow and learn. I look at my own image, with biased eyes, seeing all the flaws, and realize so much that I already would have changed based on all that I have learned since I took it. I personally like many more of my macro underwater shots more than that lil jellyfish, but he did seem to catch the light really well in that pose. Whether the light was orange or not, I would have color corrected it to be, because in my mind's eye, I saw a jellyfish on fire, underwater. I hope you all did, too.
I would like to take this chance to say thank you very much for the confidence boost, CR. I appreciate that you enjoyed my image. I would also like to tell all the other entries, not just the finalists, that you guys all rock. I saw some seriously amazing photos submitted and had never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd even be a finalist. Really love contests like this because they always bring together the most passionate photographers... and occasionally the trolls who think they're the only artists on the planet.
Thanks again all. Best of luck to everyone!